A new poem from one of our chief mermaids and poet laureate, Nina Woodrow. And a fabulous blog post from new mermaid Nicola Wardley with some of her beautiful writing. Helena and I are always amazed by the fabulous writing that is created on camp.

RW3 group shot goodie

mermaid testimonies
start small
tiny grits
like celery seeds
mermaid testimonies
start tentative
they come in fits
grow slender tendrils translucent
in the coloured light
rooted deep in fecund matter
mermaid testimonies
start in a wild place
breathe slowly
take some time
give them rare grace
gentle air space
and mermaid memories
gather force become
effervescent and if you
are not still enough
not awake enough
not brave enough
you might not feel
the disturbance
you might not sense
the current change
you might be numb
too slow to succumb
to this stream of life
this trouble
this strife
this oddly fierce
dark humour
(mermaid testimony
blindness in fact
afflicts many)
mermaids know though
that home grown
trauma syndrome
blooming through generations
has no other
what other answer
is there?
what else dilutes
the granular poison
of ancient brutality and grief
like this testimony?
what else dissolves
alchemically evolves
exposes this dark matter
to the light
sets the celery seeds
like mermaid tears
like mermaid songs
like mermaid laughter?
so ahoy there
sea faring folk
and story grubbers
the tides have turned
there is a new game
its time to heed the siren call
let mermaid testimony
take its place in the
hall of fame
and mermaids
take your time
say the things
that need to be said
shed all the tears
that need to be shed
sing your fearsome songs
and wear that briny crown.

AND here’s a link to our new mermaid Nicola’s take on the retreat.




Waterhouse, John William, 1849-1917; A Mermaid

A Poem inspired by Relax and Write 2 by our lovely Nina Woodrow

in coloured glass chinks
the light gets in
through the cracks in everything small windows
gently open to show new glimpses
of old struggle and pain, courage and love
tinted by time
and the big fish swims by
in coloured glass chinks
the archetypes stand
and fall like neptune’s metropolis under the sea
death and grief making way
for brand new beginnings a city
decayed and reclaimed
and the big fish swims by
in coloured glass chinks
monuments are spoken
remembered, retold in spite of the tremor myths
way too big to swallow whole
are refracted with squinted eyes and
some kind of magic
and the big fish swims by
the mermaids
they have a way with big fish
and ruins under the sea
they sing them to sleep
with siren songs they plait their hair
and rearrange
the shells on their shore
till something new
is formed every time it seems
that this gentle light cant possibly
be enough but spells are cast
in moments
in single words
in hearts warmed with rose oil
and seaweed
and the tears
that finally find their season
and make their way
from the mountain
to the sea